Center Theatre Group
Managing Director, Los Angeles, CA
To serve the diverse audiences of Los Angeles by producing and presenting theatre of the highest caliber, by nurturing new artists, by attracting new audiences, and by developing youth outreach and arts education programs. This mission is based on a belief that the art of theatre is a cultural force with the capacity to transform the lives of individuals and society at large.
Center Theatre Group (CTG) recently celebrated 50 years as one of the nation's most influential nonprofit theatres and proudly continues to use the art of theatre to broaden horizons and illuminate new perspectives. Led by Founding Artistic Director Gordon Davidson from 1967 to 2004 and since under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, CTG today produces and presents a diverse range of productions each year in a trio of distinct yet complementary venues: the Ahmanson Theatre (1,600 to 2,066 seats) and the Mark Taper Forum (736 seats), both on the campus of The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre (317 seats) in Culver City.
Over the past decade, CTG has commissioned more than 65 shows and produced 40 world premieres, making it one of the country's leading producers of ambitious new works. CTG is committed to cultivating diverse artists and contributing to the cultural scene in and beyond Los Angeles by hosting workshops, nurturing playwrights, supporting local theatres, and creating art by and with the community. It's award-winning education programs support the next generation of theatre goers, artists, and artisans, encouraging them to learn more about themselves, the world, and the arts.
CTG's administrative offices are housed in the Annex, across the street from the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum. It also owns a costume shop and maintains a warehouse in Boyle Heights. A visible manifestation of its 50th anniversary is CTG's new building project, which will replace the current Annex with a new home for staff and the Los Angeles community. Designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners, the new building will serve as the primary campus for CTG operations including staff offices and three state-of-the-art rehearsal halls but also will be designed as a multifunctional hub to support CTG's mission to serve the diverse audiences of Los Angeles, nurture new artists, and provide important arts education programs to Los Angeles' youth. For the first time, CTG will have a dedicated community education center for the residents of Los Angeles County to engage in the power of theatre through classes, workshops, public conversation, and hands-on experiences. An outdoor back patio will provide an event space for artists and community to further facilitate connections across the organization, arts community, and County.
CTG is a resident company of The Music Center (the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County) and operates under a long-term lease and licensing agreement from this separate nonprofit organization. The Music Center campus, including the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre, sit on County-owned land and The Music Center receives County appropriations that are used to provide services to CTG and its other resident companies, including maintenance, utilities, custodial, security, grounds, ushers, tickets takers, and house managers. CTG pays just $850,000 annually to The Music Center to cover the gap between the allocation and actual operating costs.
CTG is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors (currently 38 members), has an annual operating budget of $55 million, and employs 180 regular full- and part-time staff. More information may be found at www.centertheatregroup.org.
THE POSITION AND KEY PRIORITIES
Center Theatre Group is led by its Artistic and Managing Directors as a mutually supportive team reporting to the Board of Directors. The Managing Director is responsible for the overall operation and financial sustainably of CTG and strategically leads and manages all fiscal, administrative and production functions, as well as the critical externally facing fundraising, marketing, and communications departments. In addition, the Managing Director has a dotted-line relationship to the Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact regarding audience engagement and organization-wide diversity initiatives. The Managing Director will oversee CTG's new building project in partnership with The Music Center.
The Managing Director will serve as a strong and strategic partner to the Artistic Director, working in tandem to implement the artistic vision and programmatic decisions aligned with the institution's goals and within the constraints of financial and other resources. Jointly, the Artistic and Managing Directors will ensure that CTG is seen as one of the premier regional theatres in the nation and charts an exciting and ambitious path for the future. The Artistic and Managing Directors will partner with the Board to develop a vision for the future of CTG that retains existing donors and audiences, diversifies and attracts new ones, expands education and community partnerships, enriches CTG's efforts to identify and cultivate new talent, and truly reflects the demographics of the region.
It is expected that the Managing Director will play a visible and enthusiastic role as an ambassador for CTG and will proactively engage and lead critical fundraising efforts and institutional messaging in support of CTG in Los Angeles and beyond.
Priorities for the Managing Director include:
- Build and nurture a strong partnership with the Artistic Director in order to function as a unified team in support of CTG's overall mission and artistic goals; translate artistic needs and values into institutional strategies and operating plans; ensure that artistic goals are commensurate with financial realities;
- Establish a collaborative working relationship with the Board, inspiring their best efforts on behalf of CTG regarding governance, organizational sustainability, and institutional strategies for patron cultivation, community relations, relations with The Music Center, and city and County government relations;
- In partnership with the Director of Institutional Advancement and Board leadership, complete the capital campaign for the new building and help propel fundraising efforts to significantly increase private support for CTG's productions and community engagement activities; inspire and involve staff and Board in and through these fundraising efforts; evaluate the continuation/relaunch of a comprehensive fundraising campaign;
- Work with the Director of Marketing to grow CTG's earned income, including expanding CTG's reach to more diverse and younger audiences;
- Work with the Director of Communications to improve CTG's brand recognition and reach;
- Work with the Directors of Marketing and Communications to ensure that all front-facing staff provide patrons a memorable and multilayered experience before, during, and after their time in the theatre; and with the Directors of Marketing and Communications, work with staff leadership at The Music Center to ensure that employees of The Music Center and the County who interact with CTG's patrons contribute to a positive experience at the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre;
- Lead CTG's daily operations in an entrepreneurial, efficient, and fiscally astute manner; develop and implement a plan for long-term sustainability that includes smart, aggressive earned income and fundraising strategies and a CTG-wide commitment to fiscal accountability;
- Hire, train, supervise, and mentor a dedicated team across all departments reporting to the Managing Director (direct and dotted-line reports); and in collaboration with the Artistic Director, create a positive and productive work environment so that all contribute to a culture of mutual support, cooperation, and inclusiveness that allows staff and artists to perform at potential;
- Assume leadership of CTG's new building project, working closely with key partners at The Music Center and the County to ensure that the project moves forward as expeditiously as possible and that the new building will serve the needs of CTG now and in the future;
- Together with the Artistic Director and the Board, develop intermediate and long-term objectives to ensure that CTG becomes a more financially stable and operationally sound organization while upholding and improving upon its artistic and audience engagement goals;
- Build mutually beneficial relationships with the President of The Music Center and their staff, and the President of The Music Center Foundation and their staff, as well as with the peer leaders of the other resident companies on The Music Center campus, and other nonprofit arts organizations across the County;
- Develop a strong working relationship with County Board of Supervisors, key city and County officials, and civic and community partners in the City of Los Angeles (including Boyle Heights) and Culver City;
- Serve as the face of CTG to a wide variety of constituencies, including the media, business and civic leaders, donors, supporters, the general public, and the theatre and arts communities locally and beyond.
EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL QUALITIES
CTG's Managing Director will be enthusiastically committed to CTG's mission and will ideally have the following experience and qualifications:
- Comparable senior-level management and leadership responsibility in a theatre company or other complex performing arts institution known for quality and excellence; a track record of successfully partnering with an artistic leader in support of a shared institutional mission;
- Demonstrated financial and business acumen, combined with an understanding of both producing and presenting; a track record of success in managing people, facilities, operations, and budgets for an institution of significant size, scope, and complexity;
- A record of success collaborating with a board of directors to build consensus and generate support of all kinds;
- An outgoing persona with demonstrated success as a proactive and creative fundraiser, comfortable cultivating and soliciting major individual, foundation, and corporate donors;
- A sophisticated understanding of marketing, audience development, and customer service, with demonstrated success in generating earned income; digitally savvy with an understanding of how to employ social media and online platforms in support of institutional goals;
- An understanding of the challenges confronting theatre today and aware of, or willing to learn, the particular challenges unique to Los Angeles including its politics, dynamic demographics, increasing traffic congestion, and heightened culturally competitive environment;
- Diplomatic and politically savvy with the ability to forge mutually respectful and effective relationships with a diverse group of personalities in a collegial and cooperative manner, including staff, Board members, volunteers, patrons, and supporters;
- A compelling and open communicator, internally and externally, with the presence and credibility to serve as an effective spokesperson for CTG;
- A demonstrated love of the arts in the broadest sense, and theatre specifically;
- A diplomat who is able to negotiate skillfully with an open-minded, patient, and consultative manner; a leader who listens well, bends when appropriate and yet is firm and decisive when necessary;
- Someone able to delegate, handle, and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities;
- A confident, intelligent, and articulate self-starter and finisher, who is creative and entrepreneurial, yet collaborative and team oriented;
- An energetic, hands-on leader who demonstrates hard work by example, including a visible presence at CTG's theatres, to its audiences, and at patron events;
- An emotionally mature person, with a sense of humor and the sensitivity to work with diverse personalities.
Center Theatre Group is an equal opportunity employer and consider all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, and/or any other legally protected status. Please send applications or nominations to Sarah James or Becky Klein at CTG@PhillipsOppenheim.com.